Hygge is a Danish word and concept that is defined as “the quality of coziness and comfortable conviviality that engenders a feeling of contentment or well-being.” Hygge (pronounced hue-guh) can help the winter months seems more bearable and in fact downright enjoyable.
Scandinavia is known for long winters and long nights due to their latitude. However by embracing the concept of hygge, they are also known for a level of contentment and enjoyment of winter. Let’s learn from the Danes.
Dry skin, exposed skin, and cold bodies can impair one’s enjoyment of winter weather. Addressing dry skin, bundling up with scarves and gloves, and putting on warm coats can make a big difference. There is a Scandinavian saying that goes “There is no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothes.” This is good advice.
Ways to practice hygge include making a fire, sitting under blankets, having a snowball fight, going on a walk in the snow, lighting candles, having a warm drink. Next time someone around you bemoans the weather, teach them about hygge. It can become your new state of mind this winter.
This article was written by Stephanie Sutton, MD, who is a contributing author to the Sutton Dermatology Blog. Stephanie Sutton is a psychiatrist and she focuses on wellness.